Being a trainee - case studies

To find out more about being a trainee, read our case studies below. They will give you a flavour of life in the office and what a typical day as a trainee is like.

Arezo Darvishzadeh, trainee, HBJ Gateley LLP

Arezo Darvishzadeh is a trainee solicitor at HBJ Gateley LLP. She describes her career and life as a trainee solicitor.

"I was always attracted to entering a profession that would be challenging and diverse whilst enabling me to use my problem solving and research skills; for me, law encompasses all of this. Law is constantly evolving and updating which means even after I have left university, I am still learning on a daily basis.

"The route to qualification as a solicitor is not easy. The application and interview process is particularly tough in the current economic climate. It is important for prospective trainees to make themselves stand out and this can be achieved either academically and/or through skills gained from non-academic experiences. My advice would be to try and create a well-rounded CV through both work experience and extra-curricular activities as it should make interview and application questions easier to answer!

"Attending law fairs can be very helpful in terms of getting an idea of what employers are looking for as well as getting a better idea of the differences between organisations, law firms and practice areas. In terms of gaining a traineeship, there are a range of options available, including: commercial or criminal; small, medium or large law firms; and, public sector, private sector or in-house traineeships. The structure of the traineeship can also vary from multiple seats lasting a number of months each to a single seat in one practice area or indeed a general traineeship with no particular practice area assigned.

"I am currently in the second of my four six-month seats, working within the Corporate Department in the Edinburgh office of HBJ Gateley. Typically my workload includes drafting and completing Companies House forms, compiling bibles, preparing ancillary documents (eg board minutes, resolutions, certificates etc) and conducting research. On an average day, I arrive at my desk for 8.30am and leave around 6pm.

"My first seat was a shared litigation and construction seat, and this included some time working in our Glasgow office. In contrast to the Corporate Department, I was mainly involved in contentious work and my workload included appearing in court, drafting letters of advice, lodging motions and defences etc, attending court with fee earners to take notes, conducting research and court running.

"During my time at the firm, I have had the opportunity to attend various events organised by the firm including the Firm Handshake event (a networking event for young professionals) and Sportsquest (a large charity event organised and sponsored by HBJ Gateley), enabling me to observe business development from an early stage in my career. The firm also places a great deal of emphasis on corporate social responsibility, with a focus on charity, community, people, and environmental projects. Through this, I have attended the Transition into Work day, which involved me speaking to groups of primary school students about the realities of working in the legal profession."